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Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Best vacation destinations for 2024

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

What do you want to experience in 2024? The world is a big, wide-open place and it can be hard to decide. Here are the top ten destinations that are calling out to us. You might take a river cruise on the Nile to admire tombs and temples, track tigers and join cooking classes in India, immerse yourself in meaningful cultural experiences in Thailand, or enjoy some rest and relaxation mixed with guided nature walks on Australia’s Kangaroo Island.

Pick your destination:

1. India

Tigers at Ranthambore National Park
Tigers, Ranthambhore National Park, India

Tigers, the Taj Mahal & more

The curling smoke of incense, the cinnamon-and-clove sweetness of chai, the bright flash of a tiger’s stripes through the trees, and the soft light of dawn breaking over Agra’s Taj Mahal… any visit to India amounts sensory overload and we love it.

The past few years, we’ve noticed a distinct improvement in the infrastructure for visitors — improved electronic visas, additional flight routes, more reliable trains, and hotels that offer a wealth of immersive experiences. We’re also thrilled to see that sustainability is becoming a higher priority, with more and more options for thoughtful travel.

Because of all this, we believe next year will potentially be a real high-point in Indian travel experiences. You might learn to cook traditional Rajasthani cuisine in Jodhpur, look for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park, or explore Delhi from the back of a bicycle rickshaw.

Get me there: Our Golden Triangle suggested trip lets you explore Delhi, Jaipur, the Taj Mahal, and look for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park.

Extend your trip: Tag on time in Bhutan, where the Trans-Bhutan Trail has recently reopened — you can hike a section when you visit the central part of the country on this itinerary.

Explore India | India tours | India travel guides

2. Italy

Alberobello, Puglia
Trulli houses, Puglia, Italy

Follow in the footsteps of Poirot

Whether you’ve been inspired by the recent silver-screen version of A Haunting in Venice or you’re just looking for your slice of la dolce vita, Italy is always one of our best-loved destinations. The art cities draw us back time and again and we never tire of admiring Rome’s ruins, Renaissance masterworks in Florence, or the small canals of Venice.

For adventures a bit further from the classic sights, you might consider a visit to Sardinia to lounge on the beaches and meander through mysterious Bronze Age ruins. Or head south to Puglia to see the white-washed stone houses known as trulli and learn to make bread in a fifth-generation bakery.

Get me there: This classic Italy route combines all three art cities with time luxuriating in the Tuscany countryside.

Extend your trip: Combine a trip to Italy with time soaking up the panoramic Swiss Alps from the comfort of a luxury train.

Explore Italy | Italy tours | Italy travel guides

3. Japan

Geisha of Kyoto
Geisha, Kyoto, Japan

Fewer crowds & Ghibli Park

From the electric streets of Tokyo to the lantern-lit alleys of Kyoto, Japan is always a popular destination. However, last year was particularly busy thanks to a build-up of demand. We expect 2024 to be less hectic, making it a more relaxed and rewarding time to visit.

You might visit the newly opened Ghibli Park to plunge yourself into the whimsical world of animated films like Kiki’s Delivery Service, explore Kyoto’s geisha district with an expert, or sample chankonabe, a hearty meat stew served to sumo wrestlers. We also can steer you to the less-visited cherry blossom sights, like Tohoku.

For something completely away from the crowds, consider visiting Kyoto-by-the-Sea, a centuries-old artisan colony. Here, you can visit a traditional swordsmith, visit a kimono maker who weaves mother of pearl into the fabric, and admire the Bridge to Heaven, considered one of the three best views in Japan.

Get me there: You could visit Ghibli Park on a trip inspired by our family adventure through Japan itinerary idea.

Extend your trip: You might want to spend a few days — or a whole week — exploring South Korea as a family to compare the two countries’ cultures.

Explore Japan | Japan tours | Japan travel guides

4. Portugal

Vineyards, Douro Valley
Douro Valley, Portugal

A cruise through the vineyards of the Douro Valley

We love Lisbon for its custard tarts, far-reaching views, and white-and-blue azulejo tiles, and Porto for the worn-in charms of the historic Ribeira district. However, lately we’ve also ventured away from the cities, opting instead for a cruise down the wide, winding curves of the Douro River.

The terraced hills that bracket the river are home to one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world, green in the summer and golden in the autumn sun. Meandering down the river’s lazy bends, you’ll stop at local wine estates, called quintas, for tastings and meals. You’ll also explore the countryside, with visits to farming villages, 18th-century palaces, and unexpectedly beautiful railway stations.

Get me there: This recommended Douro cruise itinerary includes time to explore Lisbon before you embark.

Extend your trip: If you want to see more of the Iberian Peninsula, you can also visit Madrid and Salamanca in neighboring Spain.

Explore Portugal | Portugal tours | Portugal travel guides

5. Botswana

Elephant in the Okavango Delta
Elephant, Okavango Delta, Botswana

New camps to shout about

Elephant in their hundreds splashing, mud bathing, and quenching their thirst along the riverbanks. Criss-crossing tunnels in the reeds left by wandering hippo. Birds singing, swooping, and preening on the wizened branches of dead trees. A leopard sleeping soundly, belly full, under the shade of an acacia. Welcome to the wilds of Botswana, where animals rule and you’re merely a guest in their kingdom.

While other destinations may spring to mind first when planning a safari, Botswana encompasses everything you’re likely looking for — truly wild spaces, animals big and small, exceptional guides who can read the terrain like a book, and intimate camps that are both luxurious and down to earth. With intimate Sitatunga Private Island recently opening in the Okavango Delta, and Moremi Game Reserve’s Tawana welcoming guests from May, Botswana is already drawing more attention for 2024.

Get me there: This trip idea combines two of Botswana’s richest wildlife areas for an all-encompassing safari.

Extend your trip: Our Cape Town, Botswana, and Victoria Falls itinerary idea shows how you could combine a Botswana safari, a visit to Victoria Falls just over the border, and a city break in Cape Town for an exciting contrast to the delta’s wilderness.

Explore Botswana | Botswana tours | Botswana travel guides

6. Egypt

Philae Temple
Temple of Philae, Egypt

Multi-generational mystery chasing

From 3,000-year-old tombs adorned with surprisingly bright paintings to an eerie avenue of sphinx statues in their hundreds, a trip to Egypt is all about uncovering ancient mysteries. And we’re finding that the country’s pyramids, tombs, and riverside ruins are capturing the imagination of all ages, welcoming more and more multi-generational family adventurers.

Cairo has also been poised to open its doors to the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum for a while now, and 2024 could be the year that it finally does. Sadly, there are no guarantees, but we can arrange for you to have a guided sneak peek during your Egyptian adventure if you’re raring to visit before its official launch.

Then, once you’ve had your fill of history, you can head to the sapphire waters of the Red Sea to unwind and explore underwater worlds. The palm-fringed sands of El Gouna are a relaxing way to end your trip and are particularly good if you’re traveling with children.

Get me there: Storied tombs, river relaxation, and the frenetic streets of Cairo combine in our Cairo and Nile cruise trip idea.

Extend your trip: Venture from ancient Egypt to the Nabatean Kingdom — the living-rock ruins of Petra in Jordan are just a short flight away, making it an ideal travel combination for history lovers.

Explore Egypt | Egypt tours | Egypt travel guides

7. Thailand

Chiang Mai countryside
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cultural immersion & secluded luxury

Pristine, palm-fringed beaches abound in Thailand, but there’s much more to uncover. To experience something a little different in 2024, we recommend heading further inland to immerse yourself in the country’s tapestry of cultures.

For example, you could learn how to cook fragrant Northern Thai dishes with a local family in Chiang Mai, try your hand at wicker weaving with a women’s group in Ban Pong Huai Lan village, or stay in a forested hillside ecolodge that aims to conserve the heritage of the local Lisu community.

If you’d like a little feet-up luxury too, Thailand certainly delivers. According to Variety, the country will be home to the next season of White Lotus, with Thailand’s exclusive Four Seasons hotels in the running for the series’ next luxe resort. We recommend the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Mai for the most secluded stay. And if Sicily’s White Lotus-led tourism boost is anything to go by, now’s your chance to experience the country’s more sumptuous side before season three hits our screens.

Get me there: Use our Thailand cultural discovery trip idea as inspiration for your cultural exploration through the country.

Extend your trip: With a speedy flight from Bangkok into Siem Reap’s brand-new airport, you can easily explore Cambodia’s ancient temples before or after your trip to Thailand — our itinerary idea shows how your trip could take shape.

Explore Thailand | Thailand tours | Thailand travel guides

8. Chile

Magellanic penguins, Chile
Magellanic penguins, Chile

Small-ship cruises on the fjords

With its soaring mountains clutched by glaciers, renowned vineyards, and starriest of night skies, Chile is an inviting destination for any wine connoisseur or lover of the outdoors. For next year, though, we’re excited to explore the fjords and channels along the southern coast for a fresh perspective on the country.

We love working with small ships that follow two-, four-, and five-night itineraries, taking you far away from the well-worn tourist trails among scenery that keeps you glued to the deck. Think huge glaciers tinged blue in the sunlight, crumpled mountains that rise like fists from the turquoise waters, and remote fishing villages tucked away on tiny islands.

As you cruise, you might spot humpbacks, South American fur seals, and dense colonies of birds including shags, gulls, and — on the newest route to Chiloé Island — Magellanic penguins. You’ll also get to leave your ship for some guided exploration, whether that’s hikes, village visits, or trips out on small boats to get closer to birdlife with minimal disturbance.

Get me there: Combine trekking and cruising among Patagonia’s show-stealing scenery, using our trip suggestion as inspiration.

Extend your trip: Take advantage of the new flight route between Santiago and Cuzco to explore Peru. We recommend a stay at Puqio, a new tented camp deep in Colca Valley where you’ll get an authentic Andean experience. You could also add on time in Bolivia using this three-part trip idea as a starting point.

Explore Chile | Chile tours | Chile travel guides

9. Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia

A return to Kangaroo Island’s finest stay

We watched the news in horror in early 2020 when bushfires spread across parts of Australia, including Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. Not just home to kangaroos, the island is a protected haven for many animals, including possums, wallabies, fur seals, short-beaked echidnas, and many bird and reptile species.

The damage to the island — and the hotels we offer there — was extensive, but we’re excited to share that one of our absolute favorite stays on the island, if not the country, is reopening this December. Southern Ocean Lodge has had a complete revamp and is set to be better than ever.

You’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding bush and ocean. While you’re there, you can head out each day to explore with guides who’ll share their passion and knowledge of the island’s wildlife and more.

Get me there: Our trip idea exploring South Australia’s wine, wildlife, and Outback includes time on Kangaroo Island and in Adelaide, as well as wine valleys and the Flinders Ranges.

Extend your trip: Visit between 16th February and 17th March to experience Adelaide Fringe, the country’s biggest arts festival. We also recommend a stopover in Singapore to admire its futuristic skyline, stroll otherworldly parks, and taste your way through street-food markets.

Explore Australia | Australia tours | Australia travel guides

10. Greece

Fira, Santorini
Santorini, Greece

An epic Aegean adventure

There are two movies that, together, we think perfectly capture Greece’s multifarious pleasures: the recently released My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 and the upcoming Return, a retelling of part of Homer’s Odyssey. Here, you can indulge in the sun-soaked Aegean coastline as well as the stately ruins of classical-era culture.

To enjoy the coastal beauty, you might board a private yacht for a cruise around Santorini, visiting out-of-the-way coves and admiring the caldera cliffs from the water. Or, you might opt to explore the nearly deserted island of Spinalonga, swimming in isolated inlets and sunning yourself on deck.

To soak up the culture here, we can arrange a tour of the Parthenon early in the morning, before it gets busy, or introduce you to an archaeologist who’ll help you to live like a Minoan for a day.

Get me there: Get the best of both worlds on this suggested trip that includes Athens and the Greek Islands.

Extend your trip: For even more ancient cultures and coastal views, this romantic Greece and Italy trip idea takes in Athens and Rome, as well as the Amalfi Coast and Santorini.

Explore Greece | Greece tours | Greece travel guides